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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Volvo Pavilion

Text & Photography: Courtesy SD+A

Volo Pavilion by Synthesis Design + Architecture’s
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Synthesis Design + Architecture’s rapidly depoloyable pavilion to showcase Volvo’s new plug-in electric hybrid, the V60 has won the international competition for an “innovative and original design” for a temporary pavilion…

Fledgling firm Synthesis Design + Architecture’s approach to the pavilion design that would suit presentations at fairs and open-air squares was to use the car’s design as a flexible and sustainable vehicle as the basis to re-imagine the typical trade show pavilion.

Volo Pavilion by Synthesis Design + Architecture’s
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With due emphasis on dynamic form, interactivity, visual impact, functionality, and efficiency to create an iconic and high-performance, novel temporary structure, the design integrates structure, form, and performance by utilizing a continuous organic form composed of HDPE mesh fabric with integrated photovoltaic panels tensioned over carbon fibre rods. In fact, the digitally designed contours of the mesh fabric are what bend the rods into their curvy forms. The result calls to mind the image of an elegantly diaphanous orchid.
  
Volo Pavilion by Synthesis Design + Architecture’s
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Volo Pavilion by Synthesis Design + Architecture’s
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“This competition presented us with a unique challenge as architects,” says SDA principal and founder, Alvin Huang. “It addressed issues we are constantly working on and offered the potential to address sustainability as something much broader that can also encompass issues of identity, contemporary culture, materiality, permanence, and personal mobility.”

Volo Pavilion by Synthesis Design + Architecture’s
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The pavilion itself is highly mobile. In SDA’s proposal, it is shown arriving on site in the back of a V60, completely collapsed into a small tent bag. What is truly remarkable about the design is that once assembled it looks like one continuous smooth surface without the usual expression of components.

Volo Pavilion by Synthesis Design + Architecture’s
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For SDA it was important that the design be imbued with the same vision of energy efficiency and sustainability as the V60. With its embedded photovoltaics the pavilion functions as “charger” for the V60 on display, with the charging cable concealed within and peeling away from the tubing.


Volo Pavilion by Synthesis Design + Architecture’s
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The use of light weight high-tech materials and photovoltaic power generation makes the pavilion extremely cost-effective for fabrication, transportation, and set up. This is another factor that went into the jury’s decision. It does not require a large crew or the use of a truck or other additional equipment for installation. In the broader sense, the pavilion expresses SDA’s on-going exploration of integrating performance with dynamic forms and pushing the boundaries of materials and geometries to create compelling and moving spatial experiences.

Volo Pavilion by Synthesis Design + Architecture’s
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In preparation for the official launch on September 15th in Italy, SDA’s team is currently developing the design as the pavilion heads into fabrication.  


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